Graduate Courses

***Note: The list of EAS courses is ever growing and changing; check back periodically. In addition, several courses may not be offered every semester. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the list of available courses by semester.***

 

EAS6000 Intro Research & Ethics

      Identify and discuss ethical challenges that EAS graduate students confront in their research and to give incoming graduate and master students an overview of the research areas covered in the School. Topics addressed include those recognized by NIH, NSF, and Georgia Tech as crucial to being a responsible researcher. This courses satisfies Georgia Tech RCR policy's requirements for "in-person" training (note: laboratory safety is not covered in this course).

EAS6122 Biogeochemical Cycles

      A multi-disciplinary exploration of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes that cycle the nutrient elements through the Earth system and thereby maintain a habitable planet.

EAS6130 Earth System Modeling

     This class provides the students with a mathematically rigorous introduction to the field of numerical modeling in Earth sciences. Starting with very basic concepts (e.g., root finding methods, numerical integration), the class gradually familiarizes the students with the numerical tools needed to solve ordinary and partial differential equations. Fundamental numerical principles (e.g., stability, consistency, convergence) are introduced in detail. To ensure an in-depth understanding of the class materials, the students complete weekly homework assignments that cover real-world problems from all disciplines of Earth sciences (e.g., planetary motion, diffusion of heat through Earth's mantle, predator-prey systems, wave propagation). Each week, about 45 minutes of lecture time are devoted to an in-class computer lab where the students can work on homework assignments with immediate support from the instructor. In addition, each student completes a semester-long modeling project on a subject of their choice.

EAS6136 Paleoclimatology and Paleooceanography

     This course will explore the history of the Earth's climate, covering methods for reconstructing past climate and the mechanisms behind these climate changes.

EAS6140 Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans

     The main objective of this course is to apply thermodynamic principles to understand the role of water in the Earth's climate system. It starts by developing the basic concepts of classical thermodynamics that are important for understanding the climate system. These basic concepts will then be applied to aaddress major processes in the atmosphere and ocean, including cloud formation, precipitation processes and thermohaline circulation. The course finally delves into specific climate topics that bear a substantial thermodynamic component, including climate sensitivity, feedbacks and the hydrological cycle.

EAS6145 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Oceans

     This course provides a foundation for understanding the physical principles of remote sensing of the atmosphere and oceans. The course is designed as a collection of lectures and computer modeling laboratories. The lectures focus on the fundamentals of the interactions between electromagnetic radiation and atmospheric gases, aerosols and clouds, and ocean surfaces, covering the spectrum from the ultraviolet through the microwave. The labs provide hands-on experience in using remote sensing data for various applications in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. Topics to be covered include aerosol and cloud property retrievals, ozone and air pollution characterization, vertical temperature and humidity profile retrievals, sea ice characterization, and retrievals of ocean color and sea surface temperature. The main goal of the course is to provide a broad conceptual framework for physical understanding the methodology and applications of remote sensing.

EAS6155 Advanced Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

     This class provides fundamental mathematical tools for graduate student interested in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) and related disciplines. Approximately half of this course will cover mathematical methods for fluid dynamics, and the other half covers simple mathematical models of geophysical flows. Students will learn how to solve ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier and Laplace transforms, wave equations, stability analysis and eigenvalue problem.

     As a pre-requisite to this course, students should have a basic knowledge of ordinary differential equations, vector calculus, multiple integrals, some knowledge of partial differential equations and Fourier series.

EAS6200 Environmental Geochemistry

     The objective of this course is to learn how chemical, biological, and geological processes control the distribution of chemical elements on Earth and the solar system. Geochemical processes are central to a variety of environmental issues, including the distribution of CO2 on Earth and the transformation and storage of inorganic and organic contaminants. Simultaneously, geochemical processes are involved in the transformation of natural species, including nutrients, carbon, and minerals. In this course, we will study the fundamental geochemical processes regulating the distribution of chemicals in aqueous solutions and at the mineral-water interface and will learn how to predict the distribution of these species in aquatic systems and soils using an equilibrium approach. This course will also introduce stable and radiogenic isotopic techniques for tracing elements through biogeochemical cycles and dating the age of planetary material. This course is designed for students interested in securing jobs in environmental agencies or consulting companies or pursuing graduate studies in geosciences, environmental science, or environmental engineering.

EAS6211 Geochemical Thermodynamics

     Fundamental principles of chemical equilibria in geochemical systems with emphasis on solution properties and mineral water equilibria.

EAS6212 Geochemical Kinetics

Pre-requisite: EAS 6211

     Fundamental principles of biogeochemical kinetics and mathematical treatment of coupled transport and reaction in natural environments. Interpretation of field and experimental data using kinetic theory.

EAS6214 Aqueous Geochemistry

Pre-requisite: EAS 6211

     Chemical processes that regulate compositions of natural waters at or near the Earth's surface, with emphasis on quantitative calculations of acid-base, solubility, and redox equilibria.

EAS6216 Isotope Geochemistry

     Biogeochemical significance of nuclear isotopes, both radioactive and stable.

EAS6224 Mineral Surface Geochemistry

     Chemical reactions occurring at the mineral-fluid interfaces are ubiquitous on Earth and other planets. They control the transport and distribution of a wide range of nutrients, carbon, metal, and organic and inorganic contaminants. In this course, we will learn the fundamental principles concerning mineral surface properties, element distribution in aqueous solutions and at the mineral-water interface, as well as a range of analytical techniques that are relevant to these interfacial reactions. We will also host guest lectures on selected topics and tour facilities (if schedule allows).

EAS6305 Phys & Chem Oceanography

     Study of the dynamics of large-scale ocean circulation, air-sea interaction and their roles in biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients. 

EAS6312 Geodynamics

     This course is a quantitative discussion of the physical properties of earth materials and dynamic processes in the solid Earth. We will cover topics in stress and strain, elasticity and texture, heat transfer, gravity, fluid mechanics, rock rheology, and crustal faulting as mechanisms and consequences of plate tectonics.

EAS6316 Earthquake Physics

     The course consists of a series of lectures and discussions on the fundamental physical processes that control fault slips and earthquakes with a focus on the latest emerging reserach topics in the field.

EAS6325 Geomorphology 

     Description pending.

EAS6331 Physical Volcanology

     Volcanic eruptions are the surface expression of the transfer of mass and volatiles from the deep interior of the planet. Violent eruptions rapidly transform the landscape and impact the atmosphere on short timescales, and the integrated history of magmatism has played a central role in the production of the crust and the degassing history of the planet. The fluid dynamics of volcanoes span a vast array of phenomena from viscous magma flows to turbulent, multiphase eruptions. This course will trace the path of magmas from their ultimate source in the mantle, storage and evolution in the crust, through eruption at the surface where they interact with the landscape and atmosphere.

EAS6360 Space Physics and Instrumentation

     This course will explore the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere using a combination spacecraft observations and fundamental plasma physics. Credit not allowed for both EAS 4360 and EAS 6360.

EAS6370 Physics of Planets

     This course will study the forces and influences that determine the composition, structure and evolution of the planets in our solar system. The keys to understanding solar system formation and evolution reside in observable planetary characteristics and those inferred from theory and indirect observation. This understanding has evolved over the last several hundred years as telescope technology and space travel have enhanced our ability to make sophisticated measurements of much of the solar system. Students will gain an overall understanding of the physics governing the orbits, surfaces, subsurfaces, atmospheres and magnetospheres of the planets and planetary systems (moons and rings). These concepts will be placed in the context of current formation/evolution theories, and related open science question will be discussed in terms of potential spacecraft missions.

EAS6380 Land Remote Sensing

    This course will cover the broad spectrum of techniques for making remote measurements of the composition, morphology, and thermophysical properties of solid surfaces on Earth and other planetary bodies. Both the physics underlying the techniques and their applications to a range of problems of interest will be discussed. Students will gain experience accessing, processing and interpreting remote sensing data, and will acquire an understanding of which techniques are most useful for answering particular scientific questions about a range of land environments.

EAS6410 Atmospheric Chemistry

     Application of fundamental principles of chemistry to understanding the critical factors controlling the levels and distributions of atmospheric trace gases and their variation in time.

EAS6430 Experimental Methods in Air Quality

     This course in an introduction to experimental methods focused on measurements of atmospheric gases and particulates associated with air quality. Upon completion of this course, the student should have knowledge of the theory behind commonly used and research-grade atmospheric instrumentation, as well as practical lab/field skills and data analysis for ambient studies of air pollutants. Students will make measurements in the Ford ES&T penthouse lab of ambient ozone, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide and PM2.5 chemical composition, number distributions and optical properties. Some experiments with more advanced research-grade instruments may also be included.

EAS6490 Advanced Environmental Data Analysis

     This course is an advanced introduction to environmental data analysis and intended for first year graduate students. The goal of this class is to provide a deeper understanding of the theories and applications underlying the statistical analysis of environmental data, both in the space, time and spectral domain, and to provide the students with a hands-on experience. Ideally in the end of this class you will have developed a series of computer programming tool boxes and theoretical skills that should immediately be available for analyzing and modeling data in your own research. Although some preview knowledge of probability and statistics is required, a background review will be provided. Concepts and notation will be reintroduced as needed. In this class you will learn (a) how to combine models, which quantify statistical or dynamical relationships with observations (b) time series analysis, (c) forecasting and extrapolation, and (d) signal decomposition.

EAS6500 Climate & Global Change

     The course will explore the scientific fundamentals underpinning our understanding of how increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to global climate change. It will also explore how changes in radiative forcing from other causes and natural climate variability impact climate, feedbacks in the climate system, impacts of climate change on the global environment, and the basics of the global carbon cycle and the fate of anthropogenic carbon.

EAS6502 Introductory Fluid Dynamics and Synoptic Meteorology

     An introduction to the fundamental concepts underlying our current understanding of atmospheric fluid dynamics and its relation to mid latitude weather processes. The course includes both a theoretical component and a synoptic meteorology component focusing on meteorological data, observational analyses, large-scale weather systems, mid latitude cyclone development, and numerical weather prediction.

EAS6512 Dynamic Meteorology 

Pre-requisite: EAS 6511

     An introduction to the use of geophysical fluid dynamics in describing and modeling the atmosphere.

EAS6522 Dynamics of the Tropical Atmospheres and Oceans

     Ocean-atmosphere interaction in the tropics. The scales will range from local, through regional to global. The emphasis is on physical aspects of interaction and the modeling of these processes. Exercises will be set each week using a variety of models, ranging from one-dimensional mixed layer models to general circulation models.

EAS6525 Introduction to Weather Risk and Catastrophe Modeling 

     This course is intended for junior/senior undergraduate and junior graduate students who are interested in learning about weather risk and its management in real life. The goal of the first part of the class is to provide students detailed knowledge of physical processes that lead to hazardous weather at various temporal and spatial scales. The second part of the class will introduce to the students the philosophy, concept and methodology of catastrophe modeling of natural hazards and discuss the application of catastrophe models in the insurance/reinsurance industry and in the general financial market.

EAS6532 Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulations

Pre-requisite: EAS 4655 or EAS 6502

     An introduction to the phenomenology and dynamics of large-scale atmospheric variations having time scales of a week and longer. Using papers from the recent scientific literature and real-time analyses, we will overview the basic characteristics, underlying physics, and current status of a number of large-scale atmospheric phenomena. Topics will include weather regimes, storm track variability, stratospheric polar vortex variability, El Nino-Southern Oscillation, teleconnections, monsoon circulations, the Arctic and Quasi-Biennial Oscillations, and stratosphere-troposphere coupling. The class format will include reading assignments and student presentations.

EAS6670 Atmospheric Dynamics II

Pre-requisite: EAS 4655 or EAS 6502

     This course will introduce to students basic physical concepts and analytic techniques that are essential for understanding atmospheric motions at various temporal and spatial scales. The special emphasis will be on various types of atmospheric instabilities and their role in driving the extratropical general circulation.

EAS6672 Ocean Dynamics

     An advanced class for graduate students in Climate, Oceanography and Weather Science that studies the basic equations governing rotating geophysical flows with application to the ocean circulation. This course includes a theoretical component on geophysical fluid dynamics and one involving a combination of observations, theory and numerical modeling relevant to understand the large scale ocean circulation.

EAS6765 Geomicrobiology

Pre-requisite: EAS 3601 and (BIOL 4410 or BIOL 4418)

     Studies interactions between microorganisms and the geosphere and bridge the gap between geochemistry and environmental microbiology. Fundamental processes such as microbial physiology and genetics, geochemical controls on microbial diversity and activity, microbiological controls on geochemical reaction networks, redox and acid-base geochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, and evolution will be examined. Cross listed with BIOL 6765.

EAS6790 Air Pollution Physics and Chemistry

     This course is a graduate level introduction to air pollutants, and in particular their atmospheric dynamics and impacts. The student, upon completion of this course, should have a knowledge of which air pollutants are of concern, their source, fate, atmospheric transport and transformation and policies developed to help manage the problem. Topics include: air pollutants of interest, air pollution impacts, sources of air pollutants, atmospheric transport (including dispersion and deposition), atmospheric chemistry, aerosol dynamics, control strategy development and air pollution management. Cross listed with CEE 6790.

EAS6792 Air Pollution Meteorology and Chemistry

     Air pollution history, atmospheric stability and boundary layer dynamics, atmospheric dispersion, atmospheric transport, air pollution modeling. Cross listed with CEE 6792.

EAS6795 Atmospheric Aerosols

Pre-requisite: EAS 6410 and (EAS 6790 or CEE 6790) 

     This is an introductory course that presents the fundamental concepts of aerosol physics with applications to atmospheric aerosols. The student, upon completion of this class, should have a basic knowledge of how individual aerosol particles behave in gases when exposed to various forces, including, aerodynamic drag, gravitation, electrical and others, how particles interact with light, mathematical concepts associated with describing aerosol particle populations, and processes that alter particle populations, including particle interaction with gases and particle-particle interactions. This class does not cover particle chemistry. Cross-listed with CEE 6795.

EAS8001 Seminar

     A forum for graduate students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to present and discuss topics related to their research interests.

EAS8011 Seminar

     A forum for graduate students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to present and discuss topics related to their research interests.

EAS8012 Seminar

     A forum for graduate students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to present and discuss topics related to their research interests.

EAS8013 Seminar

     A forum for graduate students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to present and discuss topics related to their research interests.

EAS8801 Wx Challenge Forecasting Seminar

     The goal of this seminar is to provide an opportunity for Georgia Tech's weather and climate enthusiasts consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to meet weekly to discuss weather forecast techniques and strategies. You and another colleague will be asked to lead one or more weather discussion(s) centered on the WxChallenge competition's forecast city. If you are not presenting during a class period, you will be expected to provide feedback for the presenters and/or actively participate in the weather discussion. Guest speakers may also be visiting throughout the semester to provide their weather analysis and forecasting experience. We will also be discussing forecasting techniques and strategies throughout the semester to put our forecasting team in the best position for success within the WxChallenge competition.

EAS8802 Special Topics: Seminal Papers in Astrobiology

     Astrobiology combines astronomy, physics, Earth and atmospheric sciences, chemistry and biology in seeking to understand the origin, evolution, and possible distribution of life throughout the universe.  We have substantial expertise in many of these topics here on campus, and a primary objective of this class is to foster more cross-disciplinary understanding and discussion between and within the relevant Schools.We'll meet for two hours each week to discuss a different highly cited paper, spanning all the sub-disciplines by the end of term.  Each week a different student will lead the discussion, presenting enough background material for everyone to understand the advance that the paper represented, and any significant work that has followed it.  Because of this structure, enrollment is limited to 15 students at the very most. 

EAS8803 Environment and Health

     The course will offer a broad overview of the relationships between environmental factors and health in humans and other living organisms. In particular, the course will focus on how the health and well-being of organisms are affected by the chemistry of the natural environment, that is, the abundance, forms and availability of chemical elements in rocks, soils, natural waters and air. Health impacts of anthropogenic perturbations of natural ecosystems, including those related to ongoing global environmental change, will also be considered. Students will be introduced to concepts and principles from a variety of disciplines – environmental biology, ecology, toxicology, epidemiology, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and bio-inorganic chemistry. The course will be illustrated through a selected number of case studies. While the course has no specific prerequisites, students will be expected to have a college-level knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, statistics and earth/environmental sciences.

EAS8803 Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles

     Description pending.

EAS8803 Modern Geodetic Methods

     This course is to be a combination of lecture, discussion, and computer-based usage of many of the modern tools applied to determining and understanding ground surface deformation.

EAS8803 Earthquake Physics

     This course consists of a series of graduate-level lectures, discussion and presentations of the current status of geophysical and mechanical understanding of processes that control earthquakes.

EAS8803 Origin of Planetary Systems

     We will discuss the fundamental concepts pertinent to the evolution of planets and planetary systems.  We will cover topics to include (but not limited to): physics and chemistry of protoplanetary disks, planet formation, planetary system architecture, physics and chemistry of planetary differentiation, the meteorite record, asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt and Oort cloud objects, and the early evolution of habitable planets.  We will draw on evidence from our own solar system and consider these processes in the light of new observations of exoplanets and other star systems.  An independent research component will be included.

EAS8803 Atmospheric Radiative Transfer

     The atmospheric radiative transfer is central to understanding the workings of the climate system. This course covers the physical principles, quantitative analysis, and numerical modeling of atmospheric radiation and its interaction with atmospheric constituents (gases, aerosol, and clouds) and the surface. Topics to be covered include the radiative balance at the surface, radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere, radiative heating/cooling rates, actinic fluxes, methods for solving the one- and three-dimensional radiative transfer, radiation codes in regional and global atmospheric dynamical models, among others.

EAS8803 Exploration Seismology 

     This course contains a comprehensive review of reflection seismology and its application to oil and gas exploration. It includes key aspects of basic seismic data acquisition & processing and wave-equation based imaging and inversion.

EAS8803 Introduction to Geophysics 

Pre-requisite: PHYS 2212 & EAS 2600

      This course is an introduction to methods used to visualize and understand the history, shape, mechanical structure, and dynamics of the solid-earth system. We will discuss how geophysical tools, including seismology, gravity, magnetism, heat flow, geochronology, and geodesy, are used to understand the age, whole earth, and near-surface structure, and to quantify the kinematics and dynamics of plate tectonics.

EAS8803 Glacier & Ice Sheet Dynamics 

     This course covers the fundamentals of glacier and ice-sheet dynamics and their application to problems in sea level, paleoclimate, and planetary science. Course content includes glacier mass balance, the material properties and rheology of ice, the basic equations of ice-sheet and -shelf flow, basal processes, the stability and history of ice sheets. This course is targeted at graduate students in climate, geophysics and planetary sciences, but is also appropriate for any undergraduate with sufficient interest and prerequisite understanding of undergraduate-level mathematics and Earth sciences.

EAS8803 Space Instrumentation for Life Detection

Enrollment is restricted via permits. Please contact the course instructor for more information at cecarr@gatech.edu

     This course will cover the interdisciplinary foundations of space instrument development focusing on the search for life beyond Earth. Both non-contact and destructive methods of sample analysis, including fluid handling, and analytical methods for detecting life as we know it and don't know it, will be covered in the context of specific mission scenarios. Environmental and engineering challenges will be addressed as well as common solutions; examples include autonomy, radiation resistance, thermal control, and data analysis methods such as machine learning. Group projects will involve modifying, building, or modeling a life detection instrument or supporting hardware.

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***page updated August 2021